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The Health and Hunger Summit

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Holiday Inn & Suites Charleston West

400 2nd Avenue Southwest

Charleston, WV 25303

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The Health and Hunger Summit connects healthcare providers and community stakeholders in addressing community hunger and health.

About this Event

In West Virginia, 1 in 5 kids struggle with hunger (Feeding America, 2018). The physical and psychological impact of hunger on growing bodies is linked to a host of downstream physical, emotional and social consequences.

Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians screen all children for food insecurity. They also recommend that pediatricians keep on hand a list of community resources, such as food banks and pantries.

But do primary care providers have the time to ask about such problems as hunger and can they help fix them? What happens when communities have no supermarkets? Or access to nutritious food?

Think Kids and Unicare are working to answer these questions with the Health and Hunger Project. This grant project plans to assemble health care providers from across the state for their input to identify challenges and ideas to address them. The project will also learn how providers are accessing and using community resources and will map and share access paths to better centralize this information.

The project will culminate in a statewide Summit in May, where providers and community stakeholders can plan next steps to overcoming barriers and identify potential policy solutions to ensuring all kids have an opportunity for a healthy, hunger-free childhood.

From Think Kids’ Executive Director, Kelli Caseman: “We know that hunger and health are directly related, but when addressing them systemically, they’re often worlds apart. We know our kids lack access to healthy food. How can providers help? What stands in their way to addressing hunger? It could be a few things, or many. We haven’t asked. And so, we’re going to allow their input to lead us in a meaningful direction. Hunger is a public health issue, and providers play a specific role in a bigger context. This project will look at their specific role and ways to make it more efficient. If policy change is necessary, that’s our next step.”

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Holiday Inn & Suites Charleston West

400 2nd Avenue Southwest

Charleston, WV 25303

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